Tag Archives: Opel

2018 Opel Grandland X – New Car Review

Recently, I wrote an article. When I say article, it was more like a rant. Said rant is about popularisation of SUVs. In particular, fast or “Super” SUVs. From it, you can tell that I’m not a fan of the SUV craze but I have no shame in admitting that there are a few good ones on the market. Take the Skoda Kodiaq for example. For its price, the space, comfort and equipment you get is hard to beat. Except, for 2018 Irish motor journalists chose the Peugeot 3008 over it. This leads me to the 2018 Opel Grandland X. Now being owned by PSA (owners of Citroen and Peugeot), the Grandland X is technically a re-bodied Peugeot 3008. But, why should, or shouldn’t, you choose it over its French brother?Up front, the Opel Grandland X shares the Opel face. Centred on the black grill is the Opel logo with chrome trim flowing out into the LED Adaptive Lighting, a €1,250 option. Mimicking this on the lower grill houses more chrome trim bits and a black sensor ready for Adaptive Cruise Control. In this two-tone Dark Ruby Red with Black roof, the Grandland X looks closely related to its French Cousin, the 2018 Peugeot 3008.

What About Inside the Opel Grandland X?

Inside, the SUV is well thought out and not overly complicated. The 8-inch screen housing the infotainment system sits centre stage. Under the screen, the system is old school because it still uses buttons and knobs to control it. I’m very used to having to search within modern infotainment systems to find the Bluetooth settings in order to pair my phone. This wasn’t the case for the Opel Grandland X. Once you turn on Bluetooth on my phone, I was able to connect to the system straight away. This took some time to getting used to.The Grandland and I spent a lot of motorway kilometres together. The cabin was impressively quiet, on par with the 2018 Mazda CX-5. Although while the CX-5 felt stable and comfortable on the motorway, the Grandland felt a little unsettled. While it won’t win any awards for being the most agile car on sale in Ireland, the 1.2 3-cylinder petrol engine is one to be commended. Even on the motorway runs, I averaged 6.9l/100km. At this, the engine didn’t feel insufficient power-wise. The 130hp and 230Nm could overtake with ease. While you might see a better return on your fuel economy in a diesel for motorway dominant journeys, you wouldn’t see much benefit between city runs and motorway jaunts in the diesel. The 1.2 petrol gives you the best of both worlds.

Space?

Plenty of space is on offer up front for the driver and passenger and this is transferred to the rear also. I’m just over 6-foot and had ample head and leg room in the rear. In the boot, 514l is on offer. Collapsing the rear seats jumps this up to 1,652l. This is compared to 521l in the Skoda Karoq and 520l in the Peugeot 3008.On the most basic trim level, the Opel Grandland X SC comes standard with a 7-inch IntelliLink touch screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 17-inch alloys and rear parking sensors. With prices starting from €27,995, it is €1,400 more than the Peugeot 3008 and €280 more than the Skoda Karoq.While the 2018 Opel Grandland X might be a Peugeot 3008 not too far beneath the skin, it’s still one to consider when looking at buying in this segment. The standard kit on the SC trim is enough to attract you to your local Opel dealership alone. The 1.2 petrol engine is a cracker for the size of the Opel Grandland X. Admittedly, I thought it was going to struggle on the motorway but I was pleasantly surprised.

2018 Opel Insignia Sports Tourer Review

Estate cars are, or used to be until SUVs became the norm, an Irish love affair. My father still longs for an estate whenever he is in the market for a new car. Sure, we all love a fast estate too right? Well, let me introduce you to the 2018 Opel Insignia Sports Tourer. Although it’s far from fast, it’s handsome, practical and affordable. Should you make it a priority buy for 2018?

Opel Insignia Sports Tourer Ireland

Ugly Saloon but Pretty Estate? 

I drove the 2018 Opel Insignia Grand Sport last year. I thought Opel had done a good job but I was still unsure of the styling, mainly the front overhang. This is sorted out in the estate version though with the rear end being much fuller, naturally. The car still has sleek, sweeping lines given its estate boxiness. The rear doors are long and extended, this translates to great legroom in the rear for passengers. The face is in line with the rest of Opel’s 17-long car family. The wide grille sits comfortably between the optional Intellilux LED Matrix headlights.

Opel Insignia Sports Tourer Ireland

Is It BIG Enough?

Inside, I’m immediately cocooned by the low seating position and the raised centre console. The leather seats are comfortable and supportive. Although I didn’t do any long journeys, I could tell that the seats would be a pleasant place to spend some miles. However, the road noise might be a problem. The space to the rear is very good, not on par with the Skoda Superb but it would be a close second. The infotainment up front is typical Opel but this is no bad thing. Standard across the range is Opel OnStar. This safety feature-cum-concierge service allows you to call Opel’s call centre if you are experiencing problems with the car or if you simply need to find the closest petrol station.

Opel Insignia Sports Tourer Interior

An estate is all about practicality, especially when it comes to the boot. The Insignia Sports Tourer has 560 litres on tap which can be extended to 1,665l with the rear seats collapsed. Compare this to the Skoda Superb Combi and it will give you 100l more for the former and almost 300l more for the latter. Up front, the centre console has two spacious cup holders, a choice between a centre console cubby and a large glove box for your phone and not to mention decent sized door bins.

No More Dreadful Notchy Gearshifts

As for the drive, I was pleasantly surprised. I had gone from driving the 2018 Opel Crossland X the week prior to the Insignia and couldn’t get over that the two cars came from the same company. The Crossland’s notchy and characterless gearshift was replaced with a smooth 6-speed manual mated to the 1.5 petrol in the Insignia estate. The new petrol unit produces the same 140hp as the old 1.4 unit but has upped the torque to 250Nm. Having a petrol in this size car was very refreshing and I didn’t notice the lack of a diesel.

Opel Insignia Sports Tourer Boot

I mainly spent the week doing suburban and urban driving. The large size of the car didn’t put me off driving in the city. In the test car, there were safety features such as front and rear parking sensors and pedestrian recognition. This helped while negotiating the tight Dublin streets.

€9,000 Worth of Options…

The test car I had was priced at €39,585 including more than €9,000 worth of options, quite excessive. The 2018 Opel Insignia range starts at €27,350 for the Grand Sport and €28,550 for the Sports Tourer. Would I have the Insignia over the Skoda Superb? For the refreshing interior over the Superb, yes. The Skoda uses a lot of Volkswagen parts so it doesn’t feel as special or as unique. But if it’s all about space, then the extra 100l shouldn’t be overlooked.

Opel Insignia Sports Tourer Ireland

Would I Buy One?

Overall, the 2018 Insignia is a very good attempt for Opel. They are moving in the right direction, especially shying away from the diesel. Only time will tell for what the PSA buy over will have in store for the German brand. But, I would put the Insignia Sports Tourer high up on my list of cars to consider for 2018.

Opel Insignia Sports Tourer sunroof

Opel Crossland X front

2018 Opel Crossland X Review – New Car Review

The 2018 Opel Crossland X sits in a segment which, in my opinion, is pointless. The B-Segment SUV segment consists of cars such as the 2018 SEAT Arona and 2018 KIA Stonic. What the Crossland X has in common with these two competitors is that, in Ireland, the older sibling of each is so closely related that it seems as if they are just excuses for each brand to release yet another car.

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The Opel Crossland X

When I got handed the keys of the 2018 Crossland X, I was told that it was not, essentially, as high class as the 2018 Insignia Grand Sport is believed to be. I was thankful of this information because it set the bar lower for me as I started my week with it. Despite the SUV set at being for the “more affordable” market, the one I had in SE trim was priced at €28,320. This is quite steep considering that the target market for this car is for current owners of the Corsa, which is priced from €15,750. The Crossland X starts from €21,995.

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An Out-LANDish Exterior

Up front, the Opel Crossland X looks like a skinnier, more obscure Mokka X. I particularly like the Mokka because it looks compact yet is practical on the inside. As you move down the along the 4.2m long compact Crossland, you are exposed to the bland styling to the rear. It’s 2D-like bum is not very imaginative. I know there is only so much you can do to an SUV nowadays due to safety regulations, etc. so this only backs up my point of this car in the first place, why?

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Will It Go Cross-Land?

Immediately as I sat inside the Crossland X and turned the key, one adjective came to mind; agricultural. The hard plastics that construct the interior play no part in the quality that Opel is capable of. Turn the key and Opel’s 1.6CDTi diesel unit that was once described as whisper quiet (it really isn’t…), rattles into life. In this particular car, the 99hp and 254Nm unit is coupled with a 5-speed manual with, what must be, the world’s longest throw. Selecting first, third and fifth gear is like reaching into the engine bay.

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But the whole package comes together to provide a smooth and comfortable ride. The 17-inch wheels give a little road noise on the motorway but nothing that the Crossland’s competitors can sort out. When I say that this class is pointless, isn’t fair. I know who would buy a B-segment SUV – our elders. The high seating position and ease of access to both the cabin and 410l boot makes sense for people who are tired of clambering down into their Opel Corsa. I also commend Opel on the fact the Opel OnStar comes as standard across the range – that being all two trim levels (SC and SE). The infotainment is typically Opel, its the 7-inch touch screen IntelliLink 4.0. The system is easy to use and my phone paired quickly for the first time to it. Although, the hard plastics provided a lot of rattle when listening to music at volume or with bass.

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Would I Buy One?

I stand by what I say when the 2018 Opel Crossland X feels agricultural. For €28,320, the Crossland doesn’t seem worth it. It feels like an excuse of a car. As if Opel was obliged to keep up with trends and felt the need to bring out yet another model to its already 17 car long line-up. Why not invest more money into improving the Mokka rather than just giving it a new face and adding an X to its name. Besides, the Mokka X is only a €500 jump up from the Crossland. My conclusion? Save yourself the money and invest in a Mokka X.